Beside Kecak Dance in Uluwatu, famous art galleries like Blanco Museum and ARMA, and renowned temples such as Besakih and Tanah Lot, there are many unveiled cultural attractions in Bali.
Yes. Even for some skeptical travellers like you and I.
Rumah Sanur—A Place for the Creative Minds
Rumah Sanur (The House of Sanur) is an urban creative hub where workshops, talk shows, and seminars about arts and culture are held. This perfect nook for artsy travellers situated in Jalan Danau Poso No. 51A, Sanur, the eastern side of Bali renowned for its stunning sunrise. Though it is officially open from 9 am to 10 pm, you can always “unofficially” mingle with the community outside the opening hours. After sharing ideas and discussing with fellow artists in Rumah Sanur all night long, gazing at the rising sun in Sanur Beach will give your creative juices some boost!
Pasifika Museum Nusa Dua—Seeing Gauguin’s and Matisse’s
Founded in 2006, the museum hasn’t got much attention yet, particularly among the locals.
In spite of its obscure existence, the museum portrays priceless cultural artifacts originating from around Asia-Pacific. It has the paintings of the famous name in Balinese art scenes, such as Donald Friend, Arie Smit, and Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur. Pasifika also has Paul Gauguin’s and Henri Matisse’s.
Lodtunduh—A Peaceful Painter Village
Situated on the skirt of the Bali’ art Mecca, Ubud, Lodtunduh houses many painters with different distinctive styles. Consequently, there are many art galleries there in Lodtunduh.
The village is so peaceful. Trees are everywhere, supplying the oxygen for the creative minds. You won’t encounter many tourists there since it is rather far from the tourist route of Bali.
Setiadarma—The House of Masks and Puppets
This hidden cultural attraction is hidden behind the bamboo trees in the heart of Gianyar regency. The privately-owned museum of masks and puppets has a numerous collection of masks and puppets from all around the world dislayed in several wooden joglo houses.
Besides the awesome collection of wayang from several countries in Asia, one of the most interesting collections of Setiadarma is a mask from a tribe in Africa which believe that they are the descendants of the alien.
Sideman—A Tranquil Village in Karangasem
When you feel you’ve had a fair share of the southern Bali’s scenes, there’s no better place to go than Sideman, a remote village in Karangasem regency. It is where you can see terraced rice-field, coffee and cocoa plantations, the magnificent Mount Agung, and the locals leading their disciplined duck somewhere, without competing with other inner peace seekers.
If you are curious about how the traditional textile of Bali, ikat, is made, there’s a place where you can see the demo. If you’re a naturalist, there are also many rafting vendors which will take you to one of the rivers flowing through the region. It will surely give you abundant inspirations, as also experienced by legendary names such as Walter Spies and David Bowie.
Pura Lempuyang Luhur—The Most Instagrammable Temple
Many people have seen Pura Lempuyang Luhur on Instagram, but only a few of them have actually stepped their feet on the courtyard of the old, sacred temple.
It is located on top of Bisbis Hill (Mt. Lempuyang) in Karangasem regency. Before reaching the most instagrammable spot—the typical gate of the Balinese temple—you need to walk your way up on the stairs. It is advised that you get a cardio exercise before walking up Pura Lempuyang Luhur.
Taman Ujung Sukasada—The Hidden Water Palace
The King of Karangasem built the water palace practically in the middle of nowhere. The main building of the palace itself is not that big. But it is spectacular since it is surrounded by a large pool—which explains the name. It is by the hillside, overlooking the ocean.
Going there, you’ll gonna see that the water palace is more popular among the local tourists. It is a nice place though to have a Sunday picnic with your family there. The flower garden is neat and colorful.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur—The Temple above the Clouds
Located 900 meters above sea level on the rim of Kintamani cauldron, Bangli regency, one of the highest temples in Bali, it can be compared with the Greek’s Olympus where the gods reside. You’re gonna be amazed finding that the clouds are floating below you!
The best time to visit this sacred temple is when the sun is about to rise. Of course, it’s gonna be cold. But the cold and the orange ray emitted by the old sun will evoke the temple’s mythical aura, forging one of the most unforgettable moments in your adventurous life.
Pura Kehen in Bangli—A Thousand Years Old Sacred Temple
If you are into history, you absolutely have to go to Pura Kehen in Bangli. Although there are still many disputes concerning the time when this temple was built, some people believe that it was built between the late 9th and the early 10th century AD.
Having been exist for so long, it is natural then that it looks old. You’re gonna see an enormous banyan tree shading the courtyard. And there’s a belief that when one of the trunks of the tree is broken, there will be a calamity.
Brahmavihara Arama in Buleleng—Bali’s Only Buddist Monastery
It is the only Buddist Monastery on the Island of the Gods. Located in the remote regency of Buleleng in the northern part of Bali, Brahmavihara Arama is the place for those who want to seek inner peace. The view is magnificent and the gurus are there to guide you spiritually. It conducts many meditation class all year long.
A miniature of Central Java’s Borobudur is also built in the vicinity of Brahmavihara Arama. Of course, you can take a picture there. But keep it in mind: it’s a spiritual place, to begin with.
Are you ready to unveil those 10 hidden cultural attractions in Bali?